How It’s Made: Rethreaded Leather Goods

April 16, 2019

How It’s Made: Rethreaded Leather Goods

Did you know that leather usually ends up in landfills?

At Rethreaded, we value the importance of healing our environment and treasuring the Earth. Southwest Airlines® generously donated pallets of leather from retired airline seats which we have transformed into ethically-sourced beautiful accessories.

The process of making a leather item is intricate and requires in-depth and hands-on actions. When you purchase a leather item from Rethreaded, you are guaranteed to receive a one-of-a-kind and special piece. Each leather product you take home with you is uniquely made by a beautiful set of hands. Each and every one of our employees put their heart and soul into their work.

Our Production Manager, Angela, explains each step of the leather making process as involved and important. There are roughly 10 different steps involved with creating each of our leather accessories.

Every leather piece arrives at our warehouse as a fully intact airline seat from Southwest Airlines. It’s typical to see our amazing volunteers spending time pulling each and every little thread, from the inseams, stripping velcro and removing padding until the seat is in multiple pieces of leather.

Once the leather has been deconstructed it is then washed thoroughly and repeatedly with Castile Soap until it has come clean. Next, the leather is sorted by type or cut piece and then sorted by size.

What we found very interesting was the fact that our leather is naturally dyed. We use something called a water stain- a natural way to dye leather. We up-cycle as much as possible at Rethreaded but we also want to make sure we are intentional about what we use to make every part of our products.

Once the leather piece is dyed and ready to go, the item goes into our clicker press. What’s a clicker press you may wonder? Essentially it is like a giant cookie cutter machine. The larger leather piece goes into the clicker press to be shaped into a pre-designed outline. Each cutter is made out of steel and the design is hand drawn by Angela herself. With every shape she draws out, Angela has to make doubly sure that everything is correct the first time- since the cutters are made out of steel there really is no room for re-dos.

Each piece has the opportunity to be embossed after it has been shaped, then any hardware or extra detail will be attached by another member of our amazing production team. Once it goes through quality assurance, BAM! You have a brand new Rethreaded leather item!

We are so thankful to have a production team that puts so much care into each item we sell. The work they do is invaluable. Check out some of our favorite leather pieces here.

Which leather piece will YOU get next?

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